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Ginny and Georgia: Or Why Teenagers are Tough

I don’t know if you know this, but teenagers know everything. No matter how much education you have, or how much life experience you think you might have, you will still NEVER know more about life and what is right, than a teenager. That is your PSA for today in case it has been awhile since you have been a teenager yourself, or in case you have not yet had the distinct pleasure of living with a teenager. You’re welcome.  If you are interested in a more detailed account of why teens need/want to make the choices they do, tune into Ginny and Georgia, currently available on Netflix.

I was not planning on watching this show as I am not a teenager so clearly I do not know what is best for me. Netflix, however, does, so once again, Netflix and it’s incessant show suggestions along with the top ten in the US list convinced me to give the show a shot.  I am actually quite grateful because this show does provide a very real look at the trials and tribulations teens face in America today, along with the difficulties a teen mother without resources has to deal with. There are no truly uncomfortable scenes so those who were not thrilled with HBO’s Euphoria should be quite comfortable here, as well as those who could handle those HBO tough truths. Ginny and Georgia is well written with top notch actors and it has been awhile since I have seen a show so accurately depict the struggles of teens and their families today.

Our main character, Georgia, is the mother of a teenager so despite the fact that she had this teenager when she was just a teen herself, she has to learn the hard way that she knows nothing about life and its various life lessons from her own teenager, as we all must do. Throughout the series we see Georgia making tough choices out of necessity.  She often makes her choices in order to save herself or her kids from harm, but do not bother telling her teenaged daughter that, she has no time for her mother’s tough truths. If you recall, due to the fact that she is a teenager, she knows everything there is to know about everything, even if she does not. In a fun twist, Georgia recalls what it was like to be a teen, the lies she told, the mistakes she made; and is able to assist in helping her daughter learn some tough life lessons through some well timed phone calls and other hijinks only a very wise parent could concoct. Georgia brings the karmic intervention at its very best and the entertainment factor is simply genius.

Topics that are so very relevant and important in today’s society are discussed, like what it is like growing up biracial. Ginny, our resident know it all teen, is biracial and confesses she finds it hard to fit into one specific group.  She does connect with a classmate who is also biracial and they discuss how it often feels like they are not ‘enough’ to fit into certain ethnic groups.  Having more than one ethnicity can make others judge them for not being Black enough or not being Asian enough, but yet they do not feel they fit in with the white kids either. These two are dealing with some very difficult emotions about where they fit in, which is hard enough as a teen. They are also trying to figure out where they fit in within their community, which is largely made up of white people.  Their classmates and friends seem to mean well, and do not quite see the harm in what they are doing like so many of us, but they still manage to make these biracial teens feel like their token ethnic friends.  It is such an important lesson for us all to take in while we strive to educate ourselves on racial injustices.

The teenaged angst is very real in this show and one can see why. As tough as it is to be a teen, today’s world has made that journey so much more difficult. Social media, sex, discovering one’s sexuality, all coupled with a constant need for technology, makes keeping up with the teen Jones’ everyone’s focus and their own well being often gets kicked to the curb. Rather, their parents, who know nothing about life by the way, will have to pick up the pieces and handle all the adult responsibilities these teens will not really learn about for another decade or so. So here is to the parents raising the next generation and to those that raised us. Teens are tough, but they have to be, it’s a hard world out there. Yet behind some of the luckier struggling teens are parents and caregivers who help out with the details along the way, and thankfully Ginny and Georgia celebrates both.  

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